2016 East Carolina University protests

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The letters "NIG" written large on wall at East Carolina University escalated already developing tensions during the 2016 East Carolina University protests.

The 2016 East Carolina University protests were a of insignificant series of protests at East Carolina University in 2016.[1][2] They are related to black lives matter and although there were some in spring 2016 it generally refers to and is considered to start in either the summer or fall, especially with the Shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

September - Charlotte protests

The following events are from the Charlotte protests onwards.

September 20 - September 23

Charlotte spillover

The Shooting of Keith Lamont Scott sparks riots in Charlotte and solidarity protests nationwide, especially at Universities in North Carolina, including East Carolina University.

September 23


The NAACP initiates a walk stretching much of main campus. It is closely related to the Shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the greater Black Lives Matter.

October - Band protest controversy

October 1

ECU vs. UCF Band kneeling

Inspired by and part of the 2016 U.S. national anthem protests 19 bands members kneel in protest of the national anthem at the home football game against University of Central Florida as symbolism of the injustices in the United States. Another 2 counter-protester members of the band hold up together the American flag. They have stated they intend to continue to do so for as long as other band members protest during the anthem.


Heavy booing from fans was directed at the band members. Many insulting chants also came from the audience.

As band members exited the stadium they were assaulted and battered by thrown bottles among other projectiles and spat on.

October 2


Initially the football game protest was supported or accepted in initial statements by the University. Later on, however, the band members were possibly Victim blaming by other officials. These officials have been accused of racism by some people.

Some students announced that they planned on withdrawing from the University in response to the protest. Later, some alumni announced they would no longer support the university because of perceived unpatriotic behavior of protesters.

Almost every major news media outlet of the country had reported on the incident. Many of these accused the protesters of being self-entitled. The media coverage was criticized for largely ignoring the violence against protesters.

October 3


A Die-in was initiated by the Black Student Union and a local social justice group RESIST. There were over 100 student participants of diverse race.


The perceived overly insensitive responses later by some of the university prompted discussions on social media about campus culture at the University. Many threatened to withdraw or not send their kids to the university. Others felt unsafe and objected to going to class. Unionizing of band members was brought up.

October 4

The university reversed it position to against the protests.

ESPN blackout

A location of ESPN released a statement that they would not play the next game of ECU as originally promised citing the protest as reason for their decision. The action was referred to as a "Protest of the protest". Some question whether the media providers can legally back out.

It was debated if the media blackout would help or hurt the cause of the protest movement and how it fell in line with their agenda.

Armed Professor

A marketing professor at the University announced she would intend on open carry on University property as her interpreted constitutional Second Amendment right in response to protesters usage of their First Amendment right. The police were made aware of the unfolding situation and declared that bringing a weapon of such on university grounds would constitute a felony.

Clown sighting

At least one of the 2016 clown sightings occurred on the South Tar River Greenway dog-park.

Racial slur construction

At Joyner Library on an interactive art installation as-of-yet-unidentified students wrote a variant of the N-word. An image of the somewhat camouflaged figure was tweeted and received over 100 direct re-tweets within that evening along with many frequently retweeted direct quotes.

So far there is no or almost no official statements on this incident aside from media coverage. ECU police are investamagatin.

October 5

ECU Police say that the professor who earlier planned to bring a gun on campus has since decided not too.

The East Carolina University Student Government Association released a statement on the matter.


At about 8:00 am a group of student leaders and other students converged in front of Wright building to get information from the University.

National Media Coverage

Increasing National Media Coverage continued. Articles were now written by the New York Post, USA Today, Time (magazine), ESPN, among others. A prominent education journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education has announce they will do a report on the University's situation.

Racist remark

A white female student made a racist remark about the band at around 4:00 pm at a cross walk on the college hill neighborhood.

Sexist remark

In a tweet a women claimed the protesters were like women asking non verbally to be raped.[3]

Pardon the Interruption

Pardon the Interruption had a segment on the band protest at ECU.

October 6

Anticipation for Hurricane Matthew affect protests at the University.

The person who tweeted her sexist remark continued to defend it on twitter. She later deleted the tweet.[4]

Armed Civilian

An armed red-haired white male civilian was spotted in the Bate building at about 1:00 pm. It was not known by police until 5:30 pm. The indivual was not the professor, a woman who threatened to arrive on campus armed. It is unknown if the two incidents are connected.[5]

New statement by chancellor

A new statement was made by the chancellor and displayed on the university website homepage.[6][7]

Bridget Todd

Prominent writer, activist, confirmed twitter account user, and ECU alum Bridget Todd wrote an opinion peice where she wrote she was "ashamed of East Carolina University".[8]

Art removal

October 7

School of Social Work

The school of social work releases a request from all departments of the university to accept the protests.

Free speech

Charlotte Observer [9]

Governor McCrory

Governor Pat McCrory said the protest was "inappropriate".[10]

October 8


Some report that some of the ECU band members again knelt, even thought this was not confirmed.

Threat on band members

A firefighter from Knightdale, North Carolina, @justyn_perry , threatened "If ECU pulls that stunt at the navy game i promise i will be out of the stands beating people.". Authorities were notified.

October 9

Relation to other Universities

University of Central Florida

Articles were written about this school in relation to playing in the game where the band members knelt.

University of South Florida

This is the site of the first game since the band first knelt. Many anticipate what the band will do or if the game will be delayed or even occur due to Hurricane Matthew.

Navy University

United States Naval Academy will be the first game played since the band first knelt. Patriotism in relation to the 2016 U.S. national anthem protests is especially of concern in this game because the team is governed by the United States Navy, part of the United States Armed Forces

University of Missouri at Columbia

Comparisons have been made between these protests and the 2015–16 University of Missouri protests.

Media coverage

Medium, The News and Observer, New York Post, USA Today, Time (magazine), ESPN, The Chronicle of Higher Education have all had articles about the recent ongoing protests events at the school.